Amkrama is a language in the Cramarian family, though one that is considerably eccentric even from the point of view of that loose-knit group of languages. Although the development of its lexicon from Proto-Cramarian roots is transparent enough, at some point most or all original Cramarian morphology was lost and replaced with Amkrama's odd and possibly unique system of derivation. Creolization with an independent language (of which, however, no other trace now remains) cannot be ruled out.
The phonology of Amkrama is simple, and largely derived from that of Proto-Cramarian by two simple sound-shifts: alveolar consonants became palatals, and retroflex consonants became alveolar.
|Oral Stop||p b||t d||c [ʧ] j [ʤ]||k g||q [ʔ]|
|Fricative||f v||s||x [ʃ] r [ʒ]||h|
There is not much in the way of allophony. [z] exists as an allophone of /s/ in the environment of a voiced stop.
All morphology in Amkrama is based on the elaboration of roots, almost all of the form CVC(C), by a series of reduplications or repetitions of sequences of sounds found within the root.
Each noun is inflected in three cases (called Nominative, Accusative and Genitive) and two numbers, singular and plural.
The general pattern is as follows:
Note that the i in daij- was originally a consonant, and is still treated as such for the purposes of reduplication.
Pronouns are inflected in a manner similar to nouns, but often lacking a final vowel.
|1st person pronoun
yoh sg. pne pl.
Only the first-person forms use distinct stems; idental stems are used for the 2nd person (kaq informal, kas formal) and 3rd person (ri masculine, ra feminine).
Verbs are inflected in first, second, and third person; singular and plural number; and for tense/aspect/mood forms including Stative, Imperative, Progressive, and Irrealis, as well as producing two participles (Present and Perfect) and a number of verbal nouns.
Each of the TAM forms is based on a different base derived from the root:
- Imperative: C₁VC₂
- Stative: C₁VVC₂
- Progressive: C₁VC₂C₂
- Irrealis: C₁VC₂C₁
From the verb stem √luk- "carry":
|2nd||luk "carry"||lukuk "carry"||lukul "be carried"||lukulul "be carried"|
The imperative is used for commands, directions, instructions, and invitations; it does not imply any peremptoriness, and indeed carries the connotation of polite request.
|1st||ulûku "I (have) carried"||ulûkuku "we (have) carried"||ulûkulu "I have been carried"||ulûkululu "we have been carried"|
|2nd||lulûku "you (have) carried"||lulûkuku "you (have) carried"||lulûkulu "you have been carried"||lulûkululu "you have been carried"|
|3rd||lûku "he/she/it (has) carried"||lûkuku "they (have) carried"||lûkulu "he/she/it has been carried"||lûkululu "they have been carried"|
Though translated above with past or perfect tenses, the stative is not necessarily a past tense; rather, it indicates that the agent or patient of a verb is in a fixed state, which requires some further action to change it. For a transitive verb like √luk-, the general implication is that the state results from a past action which affected the patient.